Otago Polytechnic
HBM profile MeganBurke 2
My personal experience of massage therapy drove me to complete a qualification, and I could not be happier!

Megan Burke
Diploma in Advanced Therapeutic Massage (Level 6)

Megan loves the sense of freedom running her own massage therapy business provides. She manages all aspects of her job – and chooses her own hours and location. “My business is strong and healthy because I’m passionate about it,” she explains. “The desire to help others drives me to continually further my studies, to make me even better at what I do.”

Megan wanted to become a massage therapist when she left school around 20 years ago, but it wasn’t considered a valid career path at the time. After working at various jobs and starting a family, she enrolled to study at Otago Polytechnic in 2014. She completed a Certificate in Stress Management and Spa Therapies with Distinction in 2014, and then graduated with a Diploma in Advanced Therapeutic Massage with Merit in 2015.

“The fantastic tutors, amazing facilities and vibrant atmosphere were all highlights,” Megan says. She found the tutors very supportive and encouraging, and was impressed by the range and quality of facilities and services available – from the library to Student Health.

The Diploma has allowed Megan to apply for positions that required recognised qualifications, and helped her in all aspects of her business. “I learned not only the hands-on massage skills, but also about communication, marketing, professionalism, managing a business and keeping within my scope of practice.”

Megan recommends the Diploma to anyone considering a career in massage therapy. “Massage therapy has been going through considerable changes of the last 10 years and having a qualification is vital to making it in this industry.”

Read about Certificate in Stress Management and Spa Therapies (Level 5).

Read about the Diploma in Advanced Therapeutic Massage (Level 6).

HBM profile AmberButler 004
It was a super professional course, with great tutors. They really inspired me to help people through massage, and they were always there to help

Amber Butler
Diploma in Advanced Therapeutic Massage (Level 6)

Amber Butler is following in her grandfather’s footsteps.  He was a reflexologist and massage therapist and, like him, Amber’s always been drawn to helping people.  But while her grandfather was self-taught, Amber decided to gain a qualification for massage.

“I looked up massage courses online, and Otago’s seemed more in line with what I wanted to do.  Something professional, that I could get work with at the end” she says.

Amber graduated in 2014 with a Diploma in Advanced Therapeutic Massage (Level 6).

“It was a super professional course, with great tutors.  They really inspired me to help people through massage, and they were always there to help”.

Since graduating, Amber has run her own business.  She works part time at Otago Polytechnic as the hot stone massage tutor, so she gets to work with the people that inspired her.  She’s now the assistant manager of Benessere Studios – a creative space that includes massage, photography and yoga.  She also works for Flourish Retreats – a health retreat overlooking Blue Skin Bay in Dunedin.

“I know owning your own business can be stressful, but I’m aiming high.  One day, I’d like to run a business with franchise options.  I feel like I’ve found my niche in the world” she smiles, “I just feel I have so many more opportunities since completing my qualification.

Amber recommends Otago Polytechnic to anyone who wants to study massage.  In fact, she urged one of her friends to do the course, and now works alongside her at Benessere!

HBM profile BeckyChittock 003
The opportunities I received – and contacts made – during my study opened doors I never dreamed possible.

Becky Johnson
Diploma in Advanced Therapeutic Massage (Level 6)

Becks has worked with several high profile New Zealand sporting teams and individuals since entering the massage industry, as well as all manner of recreational athletes. Big name clients have included the Highlanders, Otago Cricket, and Southern Steel netballers – to name a few.

Currently she is the lead Massage Therapist for the Highlanders and manages a team of 10 qualified therapists. “I especially love to help athletes get back on the field, pitch or court after injury – and help them maintain a high level of performance,” she says.

A keen sportswoman herself, Becks decided to enrol for the Diploma in Massage Therapy at Otago Polytechnic. “The body has always intrigued me,” she explains, “and learning how to make the body move in the most efficient way and recover quickly led me to towards massage therapy.”

Becks was particularly impressed by the quality of teaching at OP, and how friendly and helpful the staff were. “Many of the fantastic therapists there later became mentors,” she says. She was fascinated to learn about the various treatment methods and approaches used in massage therapy, and also made the most of extracurricular activities while studying – including volunteering at the Dunedin Marathon.

“Having the qualification to back you up is invaluable in this industry.”